Good times rarely last for long for Toronto Raptors

Supporters of the benighted Toronto Raptors, Canada’s only NBA team, probably felt something bad was going to happen. It always had before.
An injury to DeMar DeRozan, left, may derail the good start to the season for the Toronto Raptors. Chris Young / AP Photo
An injury to DeMar DeRozan, left, may derail the good start to the season for the Toronto Raptors. Chris Young / AP Photo

Supporters of the benighted Toronto Raptors, Canada’s only NBA team, probably felt something bad was going to happen. It always had before.

They were the success story of the early season, opening with 13 victories in 16 games, but over the weekend their leading scorer, DeMar DeRozan, tore an adductor longus tendon in his upper leg – a rare injury. The club says the 25-year-old All-Star is out “indefinitely” and a month seems the best-case scenario.

The Raptors were created for the 1995/96 season and given a name inspired by the film Jurassic Park, which portrayed the velociraptor as a particularly lethal dinosaur.

They rarely intimidated in their first 19 seasons: six play-offs appearances, one second-round series, in 2001. That season ended when Vince Carter, their first prominent player, decided to get his college diploma in North Carolina a few hours before Game 7, in Philadelphia.

He missed what would have been a series-winning shot with two seconds to play and gained a reputation for failing at crucial moments.

In 2007 and 2008, Chris Bosh led them to the play-offs, but in 2010 he left to join LeBron James in Miami and the Raptors faded again.

Careful nurturing of talent led to their brisk start this season, with DeRozan leading the way with 19.4 points per game.

Over the next few weeks, they will see if they have depth enough to cover his absence.

poberjuerge@thenational.ae

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Published: November 30, 2014 04:00 AM

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